Herbert W. Kapitzki

Biography

Book jackets, posters, publicity . Born 1925 in Danzig. Studied art as a private student under Fritz Pfuhle.

‘My afternoon classes with Prof. Pfuhle came to an abrupt end when I had to do what all the young people of my generation were called upon to do: to be a soldier in a war that was already lost. [He was wounded in Berlin during the last days of the war and captured by the Russians but released early as a disabled prisoner.]

‘I tried to start a proper course of study in the midst of the confusion which the war had brought to a devastated Germany. I was looking for a new home and a new existence to enable me to escape from the ravages of the war. I was impeded by the wound which I had suffered in the Berlin pocket in the last days of the war.

‘My parents had fled from Danzig to Holstein, and so it was that I was released and sent to Lübeck, from where I set out for Hamburg to apply to study under Gerhard Marcks, the sculptor…but was unable to obtain permission to move to the devastated city of Hamburg… ’.

1946-8: a member of the Bernstein Working Group for Pictorial Art. 1949-52: studied painting, commercial art and stage-painting at the Akademie für bildende Kunst, Stuttgart: a teacher was Willi Baumeister. From 1953: freelance in Stuttgart, especially for industrial firms such as Porsche. 1956-68: worked for Baden-Württemberg Office for Promotion and Industry. 1964-8: lecturer (Head from 1965), Visual Communications department at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Ulm. 1968: founded the Institute for Visual Communications and Design. 1970-90: taught visual communications at the Hochschule für bildende Künst, Berlin. From 1970: commissions to design the Frankfurt a.M. Historical Museum (1970-73) and the Schering AG office building (1973-5). 1992-5: guest lecturer , Fachhoch Schule für Gestaltung, Schwäbisch Gmünd.

Writings by

  • Design: Method and Consequence/A biographical report (Gestaltung: Methode und Konsequenz), Stuttgart: Menges, 1997 (includes information about Ottl Aicher, pp. 29-35)
  • Für Anton Stankowski (with Fritz Seitz, eds.), Ludwigsburg: Avedition, 2000 (in which HWK contributed ‘Hommage an Anton Stankowski’, pp. 87-91).
  • Walter Amstutz (ed.), Who’s Who in Graphic Art, 2nd ed., Dübendorf, 1982., 1982
  • ‘Corporate identity for an office manufacturer’ (voko), novum, 1984, 5, pp. 14-19

Writings about

  • Fritz Seitz, ‘Abstract publicity’ (Stuttgarter Nachrichten self-promotion ads), Gg, March 1963, pp. 40-45.
  • Carl Heussner, ‘Herbert W. Kapitzki’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Nov. 1956, pp. 40-45
  • Eberhard Hölscher, ‘The best German posters of 1957’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Aug. 1958, pp. 36-43
  • Erich Pfeiffer-Belli, ‘The exhibition programmes of the German Council of Art’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., March 1959, pp. 48-53 (esp. p. 50)
  • Hans A. Halbey, ‘Book-jackets as an advertising medium’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Aug. 1959, pp. 10-19
  • Carl Heussner, ‘A new departure in automobile advertising’ (Porsche), Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Aug. 1960, pp. 34-7
  • E. Hölscher, ‘German posters 1961/2’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Aug. 1962, pp. 10-23
  • Richard Roth, ‘IVA poster competition’ (International Traffic exh., Munich), Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Oct. 1962, pp. 52-6